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tv   [untitled]    February 14, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm EST

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the commission will come to order. i want to welcome our distinguished panelists and guests and thank you for being here. ladies and gentlemen, as president obama welcomes vice president xi jinping, our committee will hear testimony from two wives appealing for immediate release of their jailed husbands, great human rights leaders back in china. we'll hear from two human rights experts as well who will give great insight and detail as to the issues before us. as chairman i hope president obama doesn't put human rights last on the agenda or not at all when president huh jintao vitd the president on january 19th of 2011. one of the wives, li jing says, only the united states can make this case to china. that is the case of her husband and the case of the disappeared
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and incarcerated human rights leaders. please, president obama, listen to these courageous women, and act decisively. the china commission hopes the issue of human rights abuses in china will be raised in a serious and visible way during the vice president's visit. and particularly that the detention of jing, bao, qingjing, pastor yang, ronyimit discussed in detail. it's important and timely hearing recognizes one of china's most important human rights leaders and lawyers, jigiang, mr. gao a self-trained lawyer was a human right defender and marginalized
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groups. we know little about his condition or his whereabouts. then the issue of quo kwan an academic professor who had a letter to mr. hu, posted a charitier for new democracy party online and called for the end of china's reeducation through labor system. for that he was sentenced to ten years in prison. the brilliant legal advocacy on behalf of marginalized groups in china, religious leaders and others, christians, rural workers, human rights activists and more, resulted in being sentenced to trumped up inciting charges in 2006. he was sentenced to three years in imprisonment but granted a five-year suspended sentence or period of parole. during this time, however, mr. gao was subjected to years of brutal torture and he repeatedly, quote, disappeared. outspoken christian, mr. gao has
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disappeared into official custody since february of 2009, with only a brief reappearance under official supervision in march and april of 2010. information on mr. gao's enforced disappearance and current condition remains a closely guarded secret. for months and years we heard nothing of mr. ongoing detention or torture. two months ago, however, chinese official announced -- officials announced mr. gao would be forced to serve out his original three-year criminal sentence a week before he should have finished his five-year parole period. the announcement claimed mr. gao violated conditions of his paro parole. veng, no details were provided. one can only wonder what violations mr. gao committed since he has been held in xh communicado and brutally
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tortured. his brothe members have been turped away in their attempts to visit him. we have received no word on his health or condition.witns will demonstrate the official case against gao is only rife with villainy or any semblance of humanity. in january of 2011, mr. gao disclosed to associated press reporter the excruciating details of his detention. quote, the police stripped him bare and pummeled him with handguns in hoststele cente hol. he recalled for 48 hours my life hung by a thread. authorities reportedly threatened to kill mr. gao, to dump his body in a river and authorities taunted him by saying, you must forget, you're human. to the vice president of china, we will not forget.
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we don't know if mr. gao is alive or dead. in solidarity with mr. gao, his family, his lovely wife is here today, we know we'll honor his accomplishments, his rights advocacy and brave, brave witness for the truth. we will not let those who hold him to destroy his legacy. we will not allow these criminals to dispose of his significance. we will not forget him, not now, not ever and we will continue to press for his release. we'll honor to hear from two specialists with unique insights, including jarod ginser, founder of freedom now and member of the pro bono legal team. he'll discuss the recently filed petition with u.n. and ash tear detention which seeks an opinion auto whether his imprisonment violates international law and from bob fu, who also spent time
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in the laogia in china will discuss the free gao campaign and the need to hold china accountable for ongoing harassment. the case of quu kwan, university professor, illustrates how chinese officials target citizens who attempt to form independent political parties or use the internet to organize or pose online opinions deemed too politically sensitive. in 2007 mr. quan began posting a series of open letters to top government leaders advocating on behalf of government workers. he also wrote letters calling for a multiparty rule and for democratic reforms. because of his writings, because they were considered too critical of the government, he lost his university professorship, and then he was further demoted from a common
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you nis democratic league state-approved party, and formed his own party, and for that he has gotten -- and because of these other things, ten-year prison sentence. the hearing today continues the congressional executive commission china's work to monitor human rights in the rule of law developments and to give voice to the persecuted. in the past year the commission has consistently raised china's ongoing violations of international law and human rights standards in reports and events. recent hearings have been able to boldly shine a light on some of chinese gravest human rights abuses and injustices and on its darkest policies. in december of 2011 just a few months ago, our commission held a hearing on shibao, a year after he was awarded the noble peace prize in absentia. not even his wife was allowed to travel to oslo to receive that award and he mains incarcerated
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unjusticely. a couple months ago we healed hearing on the illegal abuse of a self-trained legal advocate, mr. chin, who was wrongfully improst prisoned for exposing the forced abortion policy and heroic activism on behalf of women victims which caused the ire of the dictatorship to come down with full force. china's one child per couple child is state sponsored cruelty and constitutes a massive crime against humanity. the nuremberg tribunals says it's a human rhyme. nothing compares to the magnitude of china's 33-year assault on women and children. chin spoke out. chin and his wife continue to pay a price. that policy, as we all know, has made brothers and sisters
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illegal. it has led to the absence of upwards of 100 million girls who have been killed by way of sex selection abortion as part of this one-child per couple push and that has led to a massive increase in human trafficking because the women simply aren't there. we held a hearing in which we heard that between now and 2020, something on the order of 40 to 50 men will not be able to find wives because they've been systematically killed. so, it is a very serious policy. chen spoke out and paid the price. i and member of our staff have tried to visit chen kwan gen. we apride repeatedly for a visa to visit him. turned down. my hope is they'll grant it and grant it soon. i want to thank our distinguished witnesses. i would like to turn to my good
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friend and colleague, co-chairman brown, for any opening comments. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will be brief. thank you all for attending today's important hearing on the treatment of chinese human rights lawyer. we are here to show support for a man who devoted his rights to defending the rights of his fill low citizens, a special thank you to his courageous wife. thank you very much for being here today. we look forward to hearing from you about your wife's career and husband and marginalized in people's republic of china and know his and your devotion to human rights is an inspiration for so many people in china and across the world. thank you. thank you also to li jiang, she will tell the story of her husband standing up for human rights in the face of intimidation and improm imprisonment. today's hearing comes at an important time in relationship
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between the united states of america and the people's republic as china. as chinese vice president attends meetings minutes away from here with top officials we're reminded the real china is represented by the brave individual imprisoned who is the focus of today's hearing. in understanding gao's story we understand not only what he stands for but the challenges that we face in china today. mr. gao devoted his life to trying to make the law work for those he represented the underprivileged and the underserved. he stood up for those kicked off their land by greedy and corrupt officials and developers. he stood by factory workers, protesting low wages and long hours. he spoke out for persecuted prosecutors. in stark contrast, chinese authorities showed no concern for mr. gao's rights or the law. they disbarred him, jailed him. they have tortured him and
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somehow made him disappear. chinese authorities have used him to send a chilling message to other would-be human rights defenders. stay quiet, don't challenge us, don't hold us accountable or else. mr. gao himself would say his case is more than just his own experience. as he wrote in his book, a china more just. behind each case in china are systematic problems. those -- from the problems mr. gao has faced, the utter disregard of rule of law by his party and communist party, we see why our nation faces so many systematic problems with china today. mr. gao's case and the kays he worked on showed us how easily it is for chinese officials to cheat, to bend the rules, to game the system. they showed us how easy it is for china to ignore labor laws, environmental standards, raw materials, manipulate their currency. they brazenly tell us and then sell us with the help of some of our own companies, i might add
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in this country, toxic toys, tainted pet food, consumer products made by overworked and underpaid workers. and while i and others in in our government are doing what we can to ensure the safety and help of our citizens in a fair trading relationship with china, we know we can't do it alone. we need brave citizens like the men each of you are married to, to defend their rights to make sure they have a fair and living wage, their food is safe, that their environment is clean. that's why mr. gao's case is so important because of chinese citizens can defend their rights, we all benefit. we all benefit in my state, my current and around the world when we know the products we buy from china are made by workers who are treated well and good, cleaner conditions. we all benefit from a rule of law that ensures the citizens of china the possibility to hold their government accountable and to petition grievances to effect change. but until mr. gao and countless
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other political prisoners in china are released from their shackles, that day will remain in distant future. that's why we on this commission, our government must continue to do all we can to spotlight these cases and secure mr. gao's release. we want to help in any way we can. treatment of basic human rights deserves nothing less. thank you, all of you, for joining this hearing. >> thank you, senator brown. i yield to ranking member tim walls. >> i yeeltd to tield to the cha the l a. ntos chairman and outspoken advocate about human rights, against it, in china, is frank wolf. >> i want to thank you mrs. smith and senator brown for your work on these issues. i do have a statement i want to read and say. i woke this morning to read a powerful but thoroughly unsettling piece by chinese dissident yujia in "the washington post." he said chinese dissident exiled to the west today get a very
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different response than soviet writers received not long ago. i would go further that mr. yu. chinese defectors get a very different response as evidenced by a story that broke days ago about a senior communist party official in china that reportedly attempted to defect to the u.s. and was turned away after his request for asylum was rejected. the soft-spoken man who i recently met endured beatings and torture from chinese secret police. he asserts china is a greater threat than the soviet union ever was but now the west lacks visionary politicians such as ronald reagan to stand up to that threat. i could not agree more. in fact, just last week, along with a number of other members, we urged president obama in a letter signed by a number of members to do what reagan has the families of these dissidents. we urged the president to publicly and privately raise the
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cases of six prominent chinese citizens who suffered greatly at the hands of their own government. among them, gao. we will have the honor of hearing his wife momentarily. we also urged the president and vice president to meet with mr. gao's wife prior to the meeting with chinese vice president to hearing firsthand about the ploy of these dissidents. while the vice president's trip to the u.s. is already under way, the administration could still give gao's wife the courtesy of a meeting, the courtesy of a meeting, after the fact, given that they rolled out diplomatic red carpet for the very government who has imprisoned and tortured her husband. can't they now meet with her even if it's afterward if they ignored it before? it's clear the current approach to china is not working. we're losing jobs. grave human rights and religious freedom abuses are reportedly discussed in private meetings but rarely if ever raised
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publicly has not yielded any results and, in fact, has emboldened, it has emboldened the chinese government. we should not forget to percentcute a church. they say 25 catholic bishops underground church are under house arrest. protestant pastors are in jail. a tibetan nun just set herself aflame on sunday because of the activity. and the list goes on. but when you look at this in context with the next thing, these issues would have featured, i'm sure, prominently in a trip to suzanne johnson cook, state department's ambassador for international religious freedom was ready to take to china last week. it is my understanding that her trip has been canceled, her request to meet with chinese government officials were denied and a cease sa was denied. so that the special ambassador for this administration can't get to china, can't even get a
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cease sa and yet you have people putting in jail and torturing people. it begs the question, has the department protested this action? has the secretary of the white house protested that their own ambassador cannot even get a visa to go to china? i have more but i'll end on this comment. martin luther king famously said, quote, in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. america is a friend to the imprisoned human rights lawyer. america is a friend to the young tibetan nun who just set herself aflame. they the katrina bishops, pros tant pastors and we should be silence add this administration has been. and i yield back. >> chairman wolf, i would like to introduce our distinguished panelists. without objection a full bio will be made a part of the record. of gao.
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she -- gung completed university studies in accounting in china. she and human rights gao married in august of 1990, between 2000 and 2006 she worked as a paralegal at a beijing law firm. a law firm founded and directed by her husband. in march 2009 a month after officials reportedly detained her husband, she left with her two chirp. she's advocated tenaciously on behalf of her husband, through interviews and by today in testifying but she has been everywhere, speaking out for her persecuted husband. we'll hear from li jinang wife of qu quan. she has a ba from nanjing city. she and democracy advocate
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married in november of 1999. she worked for modern express newspaper for five years. li also li worked in import and export businesses. she arrived in the united states in january of this year, 2012. she publicly advocated on her husband's behalf and currently serving a 10-year sentence for subversion of state powers after a court found he used the internet to organize a political party and publish reactionary statements on line. we will hear from the founder of freedom now, an independent nonprofit organization that works to free prisoners of conscious worldwide. she also managing director of the consulting firm focusing on human rights projects. he was a partner in the government affairs practice of dla piper and a management consultant of kuenzie and company. he worked with and has for this commission as well as my
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committee, i chair the human rights committee for the house of representatives and has been a source of actionable information concerning human rights in general, but political prisoners in particular. we will hear from pastor bob fu, a student of the democracy movement in tianamen square along with his wife. in 1996, authorities arrested and imprisoned them for their work after their release, they escaped to the united states and founded chinaing foundation. he has been a great source of information and is accurate as well as actionable. i thank him for his leadership on behalf of people of all faith especially christians who are suffering in the people's republic of china. i would like to ask her to present her testimony.
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. >> louder, please. [ speak foreign language ] >> translator: good afternoon, everyone and happy valentine's day. greetings to the chairman and thank you for inviting me to speak about my husband. i would like to thank congressional commissions in china for holding this hearing today and everyone in attendance for your interest in the case. . >> [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> translator: my husband is a lawyer in china and represented the countries most vulnerable citizens and represented the plaintiffs to development projects. they were arrested after they demonstrated against low wages and long hours. he also represented a number of christian churches and parishioners of the movements and his righteous actions brought himself the persecution by the chinese authority. as the lawyer said, you cannot be a rights lawyer in china without being a rights case yourself. >>. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> translator: on november 2005, the gunman suspended the law license and closed his law firm after he refused to drop most sensitive cases. he was committed of conversions after confessing in the case of stress against our children. since then our lives have been turned upside down. the gunman placed our families under surveillance and moved to the building and followed us everywhere. the gunman has repeatedly abduct and tortured in the past few years. . >> [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> translator: in 2007, thrds disappeared and held him for over 50 days after he wrote an open letter to the united states congress exposing human rights abuses in china.
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the policemen covered his head with a black mask and took him to a room where they stripped him naked and beat him. they shocked him all the way, especially his private parts and turning his skin totally black. it was so painful he was rolling over on the ground. after losing consciousness from the torture, he woke up, covered in urine. later his captors used cigarette smoke to burn his eyes so severely, he could not open them. they stuffed his genitals with tooth picks. they said they would lock him up in prison. they said we can make you disappear whenever we want to unless what they have done and this torture lies more than three days. >>. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> translator: in order to protect our children, i escaped to the united states in january of 2009. in the next months, authorities abducted him again. this time the gunmen held him for over a year before he reappeared the following spring. in an interview with the associated press, they described more torture in the disappearance and he said this was the worst beating he ever endured and his life hung by a threat. after the interview he disappeared again. . >> [ speaking f ]
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. >> i last spoke to him on our daughter's birthday. since then we had constant uncertainty. this absence caused my daughter anguish and dreams her father is dead. on father's day, my son told his teacher he doesn't have a father. we were forced to endure rumors the guards tortured him to death. >>. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> translator: then in december 2011, less than a week before the probation was scheduled to end, the chinese authority added to uncertainty by claiming he would spent the next three years in prison. this news came before the holida holidays. some people have asked us if we are relieved because the gunman said he's alive. the news has not brought us peace of mind. we are more worried than ever before. how can we believe it and we don't know if he is still in the prison. [ speaking foreign language ]

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